Different Types of Wall Paint & What They All Mean | Evolving Elements

The Different Types of Wall Paint & What They All Mean

Oil-based? Eggshell? Gloss? Acrylic primer sealer undercoat? Doing a DIY paint job can be a bit overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. The fact of the matter is, like many DIY projects, painting doesn’t have to be overly complex, it’s simply a matter of knowing the rules and following them closely. It’s a process that’s time-tested and if you try to cut corners, your walls will pay for it.

If you suffer from a particularly bas case of paint-phobia, not knowing whether you should go water-based or oil-based for your home, we’ve gone ahead and put together a handy little guide that takes you through the different paint types and what they all mean, so you can discuss your paint needs with confidence when you head down to the hardware store or paint shop.

Water-based gloss paints are precisely what they sound like–water-based. They’ve increased significantly in popularity in recent years thanks to their price point and several other advantages. They don’t require any pre-treatments, which makes them quite ‘user-friendly’ and they dry quite quickly, though treatment will be required if you’re painting over existing oil-based paint.

Unlike water-based alternatives, oil-based paints are more robust. What does that in practice? For starters, many people prefer the oil-based ‘look’ due to its gloss. The finished product, which takes considerably longer to dry than water-based paint, is also more durable, so it’ll take longer for your paint job to show signs of wear. Oil-based is also recommended for any rooms with high levels of moisture, such as the bathroom or kitchen.

Matte Paint
Matte paint is ubiquitous as it does a good job of covering up imperfections in your wall and acts as more of a ‘base’ rather than an aesthetic element unto itself. Basically, matte paint has a flat finish that’s not distracting in its shine. However, matte paint does require a few coats in order to bring a more solid colour to your walls and will require retouching from time to time.

Gloss / Semi-Gloss
Probably the other market leader when it comes to wall paint is gloss or semi-gloss. It’s all in the name, really. Gloss paint brings a shiny, gloss finish to your walls, whilst semi-gloss is a bit more toned down in terms of the glossy finish. It’s the preferred option for painting on wood, but be aware that gloss paint does a good job of bringing out any imperfections in your walls.

Like gloss paint, satin will make imperfections in your walls more noticeable, but it’s the perfect solution if you’re looking for something in between a gloss and a matte finish. Due to its slight gloss, however, it will mean that you’ll need to keep up the maintenance, so keep this in mind if you opt for a satin finish paint.

A popular option for many homeowners is eggshell finish. Eggshell finish is popular due to its ease of use–you can apply it quite easily and it doesn’t take multiple coats to get a solid result. It also has a mostly matte finish, though with a slight gloss that won’t bring out the imperfections of your walls.